Ofsted recognises rapid improvement at Kenton School

Ofsted inspectors have praised Kenton School for the clear improvements made to leadership, curriculum, attendance and behaviour since its last inspection in September 2022.

Ofsted visited Kenton School, which is part of the Northern Leaders Trust, for a monitoring visit on 16 November 2023. The school has been rated as ‘requires improvement’ since 2016 and received a Termination Warning Notice (TWN) by the Department for Education (DfE) in June 2023, but now with new leaders and strategies in place, this latest Ofsted visit has recognised that the school is on a rapid journey of improvement.

Sinead Green, who was appointed as Principal of Kenton School in March this year, said “I am thrilled that Ofsted have recognised the many improvements at Kenton School. With the support of the trust, the team have worked incredibly hard to move the school from ‘requires improvement’ towards becoming a ‘good’ school. With students as our focus, we will continue with a rapid and sustained improvement journey to ensure that each and every student leaves us with the best possible outcomes.”

Since Ms Green’s appointment, the trust has recruited a significant number of new staff, including an executive headteacher and several curriculum directors to help support the school.

In its letter to the school, Ofsted stated “Your school has prioritised improving the quality of education.” The inspector also noted that “With the support of curriculum directors from the trust, leaders have improved the curriculum.”

Behaviour management was also praised and improvements noted, with the inspector recognising that leaders have “secured significant improvements in pupils’ behaviour. Leaders have raised everyone’s expectations of pupils’ conduct. New behaviour systems have had a positive impact. Disruption to learning is minimised. Suspensions and removals from lessons have reduced dramatically compared to this time last year.”

The school is also praised for its careful planning around the support for pupils who continue to show challenging behaviour. The report states “You and your leaders have established the new ‘Aspire’ provision to offer targeted support to further improve the behaviour of some pupils. One pupil told me that the Aspire provision had been ‘life changing.’”

Ofsted also noted improvements in attendance, reporting that “Leaders use a range of strategies to promote good attendance. Pupils’ attendance has improved since the previous inspection.”

Lee Kirtley, who was appointed as CEO of Northern Leaders Trust in December 2022, said “Kenton School is improving quickly; we are delighted that Ofsted have recognised this progress at their recent visit. We have implemented a thorough, robust improvement plan at Kenton over the last year and I am hugely grateful to Sinead and her team at the school, the trust’s central team, the trust board and the school governors who play a vital role as we progress through this exciting journey together. There is still work to do to improve attendance and the quality of education in some subjects, but we will continue to strive to make these positive changes. I am committed to creating a culture built around high expectations and look forward to seeing Kenton School flourish.”

Kenton School is a secondary school in the Kenton area of Newcastle with over 1800 pupils at the school. It is part of the Northern Leaders Trust alongside Studio West.

11 December 2023

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